Reaction score

Dear Friends,

I am saddened to announce that the Aquarium’s beloved beluga whale, Gasper, was humanely euthanized today. Over the past few weeks, Gasper’s health had deteriorated. This is believed to be the result of his weakened immune system due to years of chronic illness, prior to arriving at the Georgia Aquarium. Laboratories, veterinarians and other animal and human health specialists from across the country were engaged to assist with this complicated case. In the past couple of days, Gasper’s physical condition and medical test results declined rapidly. With Gasper’s failing health and quality of life in mind, the Georgia Aquarium’s veterinarian team made the difficult decision today to humanely euthanize the animal.

Gasper had lived at the Georgia Aquarium since Oct. 17, 2005. Upon arrival, he was severely underweight and had visible skin lesions. He was later diagnosed with osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone. Gasper won the hearts of Aquarium visitors and the Atlanta community by blowing bubbles to the pleasure of Aquarium guests. He was dearly loved and will be missed not only by staff and volunteers, but also by the many of you who visited him.

A beluga whale sculpture is being developed for the Georgia Aquarium entrance plaza. When visiting the Aquarium, you may sign memory books which are located on the first and second floors of the beluga exhibit. By visiting our web site,"></a>, and clicking on Gasper, you may view our Gasper photo gallery and click on links that allow you to share your memories and images with others.

Looking toward the future, we will stay very devoted to our beluga whale program. We are very hopeful that our breeding program with the New York Aquarium will produce some offspring among our current beluga whale family, Nico, Marina, Natasha and Maris.

Jeffery S. Swanagan
Executive Director, Georgia Aquarium

Statement from Bernie Marcus, Benefactor of the Georgia Aquarium: While Billi and I, as well as all of the staff, are saddened by this news, we are comforted in knowing that Gasper received the finest care available in the year he was in the Georgia Aquarium. We rescued Gasper knowing that he was seriously ill but were hopeful that we might have been able to save him. The Georgia Aquarium will continue its important 4R Program (Rehabilitation, Relocation, Rescue and Research) to provide the highest quality of life for our inhabitants. To the thousands of people who have sent letters and cards to Gasper over the last year and want to ensure that the Georgia Aquarium will continue to provide caring services, I suggest making a contribution to the Aquarium’s 4R program or becoming an annual pass member.
This is terrible! They did everything they could though. I have some pictures ill post here. Im not sure if it is Gasper though.
:sad: Sad sad day!!!
He had fun while he was here and will sorely be missed.
I was at the aquarium the other day and I was going to ask the person who talks about the whales, but there was a lot of people there and I had a feeling that he wasnt doing too well....This is terribly sad news, he will be missed by all.
This is sad news and one I'm hoping will be reversed by news of baby belugas sometime in the near future.

In other news... be on the look out for the upcoming GA Aquarium candle sale!

( it too soon?)
Nico was entertaining all of the three ladies early Sunday morning (Gaspar was in the main exhibit by himself after hours, and all the others were in the quarantine tank. He clearly was showing mating behavior. When they go in heat again this spring, I would not be surprized if there is offspring.